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The last time the government shut down, Hootie and the Blowfish were still cool
Remember 1995?
Look! They won an MTV Video Music Award and everything.
Look! They won an MTV Video Music Award and everything. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
T

he federal government is closed. Or, at least, parts of it are. (You can still sign up for ObamaCare, for instance.)

It's the first time since November 1995, when Newt Gingrich was Speaker and the use of neon in fashion hit its dizzying zenith, that lawmakers failed to pass a budget in time to fund the government.

Here, a brief trip back in time, to what America was up to the last time the government shut down:

In 1995:

  • POGs, a game played since the 1920s with juice caps, became a massively-profitable, if short-lived, fad. In 1995, the World POG Federation — a California company that bought rights to the POG name — earned more than $140 million in profits.
  • Sony debuted the original PlayStation
  • Nintendo countered by unveiling the Nintendo 64, though the console would not be commercially released until the following year.
  • Domestic terrorists released sarin gas in the Tokyo subway system, killing thirteen and injuring more than 6,000.
  • Timothy McVeigh detonated a Ryder truck in downtown Oklahoma City, killing 168.
  • After a nearly year-long trial that captivated the nation, O.J. Simpson was found innocent of murder.
  • The 49ers scored 49 points to beat the Chargers in the Super Bowl.
  • Michael Jordan returned to the NBA midway through the 1994-95 NBA season, but could not help the Bulls stop the Houston Rockets from repeating as champs.
  • In baseball, Cal Ripken, Jr., broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played, and the Braves won the World Series.
  • The first ever X Games were held...in Rhode Island.
  • DVDs made their debut (so long, VHS!)
  • Toy Story, Jumanji, and Braveheart were released. So, too, was Batman Forever, the second-worst Batman film ever made.
  • Coolio's Gangta's Paradise was the top-selling single of the year. Weird Al's parody, Amish Paradise, dropped one year later, peaking at #53 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
  • Mariah Carey topped the charts when the shutdown began with Fantasy. She still topped the charts when it ended two months later, but with a different song, One Sweet Day.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess debuted on TV. So, too, did Star Trek: Voyager.
  • Will Ferrell joined SNL.
  • As for style? It was a year of "contradictions and confusion for the fashion-minded," the Baltimore Sun's fashion editor wrote that December. "Teens dressed in laundry hamper fashion were turned on to Clueless, a film that put Beverly Hills princess dressing back in favor," she wrote. Also in that year: "Blue-frosted eye shadow," "baseball hats worn forward," and "redheads."
Jon Terbush is a staff writer for TheWeek.com covering politics, sports, and other things he finds interesting. He has previously written for Talking Points Memo, Raw Story, and Business Insider.

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